Celebrating First Times

Half-finished Ceramic Installation for Front of Garage
R de Heer
Sixteen weeks after breaking my wrist I was finally able to resume this half-completed ceramics project. The width/height is fifty centimetres, the length will be about two metres. The sun shining over the local landscape. Mt Chincogan in the middle. The Mt Warning/Wollumbin volcanic plug in the left-most as yet unglazed tile. The Brunswick River estuary, Nature Reserve, mangroves and beach in the righthand unglazed tile.

The ten weeks since the cast came off have been a long sequence of private little celebrations of achieving this that or the other for the first time.

First time eating right handed with a fork.
First time brushing my hair right-handed.
First time driving again.
First time cutting up vegetables.
First time brushing my teeth with my right hand.
Etc etc

The break made me conscious of the amazing dexterity of our hands and wrists. How much we depend on them. How weak in comparison our non-dominant hand is. Before the accident I could lift a full kettle of water with my right hand with ease. Left-handed, I discovered, I could only lift the kettle half-filled.

I could type with two fingers, but not click, drag and drop. I did no knitting or any kind of handwork this winter. Hardly any photography. Even a phone-camera was difficult. First time using the mouse was only two days ago.

Bottle tops, jar-lids and zip-locks continue to present almost unsurmountable frustrations. I've taken to cutting zip-locks from the bags and using clothes pegs to reseal. Jar-lids get stabbed with a knife to break the air seal. Bottle tops? No thank you!

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